The senior Senator from Massachusetts is having herself quite a week.
After delivering a vicious and thorough ass-kicking to almost-former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on Tuesday, Warren kept up her assault on Wall Street the following day during a visit to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Drafting on the potent momentum of Wells Fargo's irredeemably stupid fraud scandal, Warren reinvigorated her crusade to jam a sensible flat in the revolving door between Wall Street and DC, thus preventing Hillary Clinton from staffing her potential cabinet with wealthy financiers.
And with only a few weeks to go before election day and an American public newly-furious at a major bank, Warren took advantage of the occasion to name names.
“When we talk about personnel, we don’t mean advisers who just pay lip service to Hillary’s bold agenda, coupled with a sigh, a knowing glance, and the twiddling of thumbs until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door, serving government and then going back to the very same industries they regulate,” Mrs. Warren said Wednesday in a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
“We don’t need Citigroup or Morgan Stanley or BlackRock getting to choose who runs the economy in this country so that they can capture our government,” she said.
Warren's blood feud with Bob Rubin makes it nearly impossible for her to not get in a shot at Citi, and she's had a rocky romance with former CitiBanker/current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew since he moved across the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to 1500 Pennsylvania Ave. The Mother of Dragons is also dpwn on Morgan Stanley because that's where Hillary's homeboy and former State Department staffer Tom Nides works. Why Warren has seemingly added BlackRock to her personal basket of deplorables might have a lot to do with the hungry eyes that mega-Hillary donor Larry Fink is reportedly using to look at the top Treasury gig. It might also just be that Warren meant to take a shot at Blackstone but was reminded that Hamilton James writes a lot of down-ballot checks to Democrats and decided that "Rock" was a good fit to replace "Stone" on the teleprompter.
But it's the name Warren didn't drop that should be getting a lot of attention.
How do you thrown down the gauntlet on what Wall Street firms should be barred from working in government and not namecheck the"Death Star on West Street" aka "The Vampire Squid" aka "The Corzine Corner" aka "Government Sachs?"
Maybe Elizabeth Warren just thought that "And no Goldman Fucking Sachs!" was implied? Or perhaps The Duchess of Occupy is reeling back on her Blankfein-bashing for other reasons.
Off the bat, we can all agree that you should just not mention Goldman whilst backing Hillary in a still very tight election. Putting those two words together into a microphone is an open invitation to get a "Release the speeches!" callback. It's also a slippery slope for Warrenistas in the know, because the person that Hillary most likely wants to replace Lew at Treasury is also the one that Warren kind of wants...and he used to work for Goldman Sachs.
Gary Gensler spent 18 years at Goldman, rising to become a partner and co-head of finance. Since leaving Goldman he worked in Bill Clinton's Treasury Department, essentially wrote Sarbanes-Oxley and then ran the CFTC for the first five years of the Obama administration. But unlike virtually every other former Goldmanite to cycle through the revolving door, Gensler was an absolute nightmare for Wall Street as a Washington regulator, clamping down like a bald-headed human vice on the swaps market and going HAM on LIBOR manipulators.
That type of behavior is the kind of thing that gets Elizabeth Warren's attention on the DC schoolyard and she has been enamored enough so far to resist taking a cheap shot at Hillary for letting a former Goldman partner run her campaign's finance operation...most probably because that person is Gary Gensler.
Elizabeth Warren is having quite a week, and if Wells Fargo continues to smolder (or if other banks are forced to reveal ugly sales practices of their own), she's going to have a quite a foreseeable future. That will give her the kind of leverage to go hunting on the Wall Street savanna for certain banks and certain bankers. But if she truly loves Gary Gensler, she might have to lay off the biggest prize of all.